Land transactions and rural development policy in the Domboshava peri-urban communal area, Zimbabwe

Hungwe, Emaculate (2014-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Urbanization in Sub-Saharan Africa has led to the proliferation of peri-urban settlements close to cities. Development policy in these areas is multi-pronged. Residents with local tribal, as well as migrant backgrounds take land matters into their own hands. This leads to diverse land transactions and changing household survival strategies. My research investigates the complex interactions between land transactions, Rural Development Policy (RDP), and the emergent household survival strategies between 2002 and 2012 in the peri-urban communal area of Domboshava in Zimbabwe located northeast of Harare the capital city. Domboshava is classified as 'rural' and is administered by traditional authority as well as a local authority called Goromonzi Rural District Council. This Council considers RDP as a solution to increased individualized land transactions. My thesis is based on field research of a case study comprising four villages of Domboshava. Forty-one local residents, as well as a number of key informants such as Traditional Leaders and local government officials were sampled for the study. Qualitative data were collected through structured interviews, review of pertinent documents, as well as observation. The research findings reveal that the rapid pace of urbanization across Africa is widespread and poses key challenges to policies on rural development and land tenure more generally. Research evidence shows the changing practice in access to land rights in Domboshava by migrants from other parts of the country. As a result, land transactions shift from customary inheritance in the tribal line to individualized land transactions such as direct land sales and renting thereby privileging financially better-off households. Household survival strategies also shift from farm based to off-farm and non-farm activities because of the influence of land transactions and a multi-pronged RDP. Changes in household survival strategies of community residents of Domboshava were however not influenced by land transactions and RDP alone, but also by wider political and economic shifts and state interventions such as Operation Restore Order/Operation Murambatsvina and the Fast Track Land Reform Programme. The practice of a multi-pronged RDP as a solution to land transactions in Domboshava became part of the problem as land transactions proliferated unabated. This research is an important topic within the Sociology of Development, and provides useful insights regarding debates on land, policy, and survival strategies in peri-urban communal areas, not only in Domboshava in Zimbabwe, but in sub-Saharan Africa. Appropriate policies that address these peri-urban challenges in Zimbabwe are sorely needed.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Verstedeliking in Afrika het gelei tot die vermenigvuldiging van buite-stedelike nedersettings naby stede. Ontwikkelingsbeleid in hierdie areas het vele vertakkings. Inwoners van plaaslike stamsgebiede asook van migrante agtergronde neem grondsake in eie hande. Dit lei tot uiteenlopende grondtransaksies en veranderende huishoudelike oorlewingstategiëe. My navorsing ondersoek die komplekse interaksies tussen grondtransaksies, landelike ontwikkelingsbeleid (LOB), en die opkomende huishoudelike oorlewingstategiëe tussen die jare 2002 en 2012 in die buite-stedelike kommunale area van Domboshava in Zimbabwe, gelëe noord-oos van Harare, die hoofstad van Zimbabwe. Dombashava is geklassifiseer as 'landelik' en word geadministreer deur 'n tradisionele owerheid sowel as 'n plaaslike owerheid wat bekend staan as die 'Goromonzi Rural District Council'. Ontwikkelingsbeleid word deur hierdie Raad gesien as oplossing vir toenemende individuele grondtransaksies. Die huidige navorsing is gebasseer op veldwerk van 'n gevallestudie van vier dorpies in Dombashava. Een-en-veertig plaaslike inwoners sowel as 'n aantal sleutelinformante soos tradisionele leiers en plaaslike regeringsamptenare was deel van 'n steekproef vir die studie. Kwalitatiewe data is ingesamel deur middel van gestruktureerde onderhoude, bestudering van pertinente dokumente asook waarneming. Die navorsingsresultate toon dat die vinnige pas van verstedeliking deur Afrika 'n algemene verskynsel is en dat dit belangrike uitdagings bied vir beleid oor landelike ontwikkeling, en grondpag in die besonder. Navorsingsbevindinge wys die veranderende patrone in toegang tot grondregte van migrante van ander dele van die land. Dit toon dat grondtransaksies verskuif het van gewone oorerwing binne stamverband na geindiwidualiseerde grondtransakies soos bv. direkte grondverkope en verhuring om dan sodoende huishoudings wat finansieel beter daaraan toe is, te bevoordeel. Huishoudelike oorlewingstategiëe het ook verskuif vanaf boerderygebasseer na nie- boerderygebasseerde aktiwiteite as gevolg van die invloed van nuwe grondtransaksies en komplekse LOB. Die veranderings in huishoudelike oorlewingstategiëe van inwoners van Dombashava was egter nie slegs beïnvloed deur grondtransaksies en LOB nie, maar ook deur wyer politieke en ekonomiese veranderinge en deur intervensies deur die staat soos “Operation Restore Order/ Operation Murambatsvina” en die “Fast Track Land Reform Programme”. Die praktyk vangrondbeleid met vele vertakkings as oplossing vir grondtransakies in die Dombashava area het deel geword van die probleem soos wat grondtransaksies ongekontrolleerd toegeneem het. Hierdie navorsing is 'n belangrike onderwerp binne die Sosiologie van Ontwikkeling en gee bruikbare insigte in die debatte rondom grond, beleid en oorlewingstategiëe in buite-stedelike kommunale gebiede naby stede, nie alleenlik in Dombashava in Zimbabwe nie, maar ook elders in Afrika. Toepaslike beleid wat hierdie buite-stedelike uitdagings in Zimbabwe aanspreek is dringend noodsaaklik.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/96059
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